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Legg Mason’s Ron Dewhurst to Leave After Losing CEO Bid

Legg Mason Inc., the money manager that named Joseph A. Sullivan its chief executive officer in February after a five-month search, said Ron Dewhurst, who was a candidate for the position, is leaving the firm.

In addition to Dewhurst, the former head of global investment managers, Thomas Lemke, general counsel and head of governance, will also be leaving the firm, the Baltimore-based firm said today in a statement. Legg Mason will take an $8.5 million charge in the first quarter for the cost of their separation agreements, according to a regulatory filing.

Sullivan, who had served as interim CEO since Oct. 1, is looking to reverse five years of client redemptions and calm restive fund affiliates. The firm, whose assets swelled to a peak of $1 trillion in 2007 as investors flocked to funds managed by top-ranked managers such as Bill Miller, slumped to $661 billion at the end of February as performance declined and investors pulled money.

Sullivan today named the members of his executive committee including Pete Nachtwey, chief financial officer, Terry Johnson, head of global distribution, and Jennifer Murphy, chief administrative officer. The firm is looking for an executive to lead an expanded business and product development role, according to the statement.

“These leadership changes reflect the way I plan to manage Legg Mason to deliver on our key business objectives of maintaining a relevant and comprehensive product set, delivering compelling investment performance, and creating a world class institutional and retail distribution platform,” Sullivan said in the statement.

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